One of the things I really like about myself is that I observe and reflect a lot. I don’t know if its out of habit or if everyone does it but I reflect on everything. For me this year has been filled with lessons, some were hard lessons, some made me cry, some made me smile, but I really took it all in to gain a better understanding of who I am. Who I am as a young woman moving into a new era of life (I turn 30 on the 30th of December) as a friend, as a sister, as a writer, as a creator, as a student, as a teacher, as a black woman, as a mentor, as a mentee, the list goes on and on. There are so many layers, and I have been learning about myself and giving myself time to take it all in. So here are some of the things I have learned this year…
Manage your time.
I need to have a poster hanging on my wall that says, “Sharee manage your time!” This year I have seen the results of what me wasting my time looks like. I work hard but I also waste a lot of time, most people don’t account for time wasted on things they do out of habit. I have/had a habit of talking on the phone with friends for long periods of time. I read an article about how much time people waste an enormous amount of time talking on the phone and watching television. So I installed an app on my phone that told me how many minutes I talked on the phone in a day. Tally that number up in a week and I was blown away by the results. I spent too much time talking on the phone about nothing. Now I schedule free time to talk on the phone (still working on this) because my best friends are scattered at the moment because of work and school so the phone is where we connect a lot. Write down everything you do in a day that is not work related or home related (if you have children) and really monitor how you are using your free time.
Stop waiting for applause…just keep working…eventually they clap.
Nobody will clap for you unless you are doing something worth clapping for. That sounds like that meme that says, “nobody cares, work harder.” The reality of the situation is until you do some amazing shit that requires some hard work and elbow grease, don’t nobody care. To your momma and God you are absolutely unique and amazing. To everyone else you are just a number, stop waiting for people to notice you and keep working…they will clap eventually. This was my aha moment and I am still working on really living in this lesson. This past year I was working hard on my site and creating new things that I really didn’t care about the applause. Even after the fact I didn’t really care if you gave it five stars I was just happy I hit the goals I set out for myself. And wouldn’t you know, when I cared less about the applause…people applauded. It’s good to get a pat on the back but if you need it to keep going then you will always feel like there aren’t enough people clapping. Forget who is applauding and work for you…they will eventually see how awesome you are and clap.
Don’t let Social Media exhaust you.
I always feel weird about giving my thoughts and opinions on social media because I do love it. If you run anything online then you know that social media can literally drain you. Being connected and plugged in all the time is both mentally and emotionally exhausting. Balance is key but social media is and will forever be social media. Part of my life is being on social media and getting the scoop on things…it just is. Because we have high tech phones social media and I are always together. I check things out of habit at least five times before I have made coffee. But I learned to chill <– social media is not going anywhere and since I don’t run the daily news I know that I can relax a little. Don’t let this social media shit exhaust you…
Listen more, talk less
I love talking I just do, ever since I was a child my teachers have said the same thing throughout my entire life, “Sharee is a bright girl but she talks too much.” That was my story until I got to college (ain’t no parent teacher night in college bih lol). Even in conversation I tend to talk more, I know I ask a lot of questions but I also talk a lot. I made a mental note one day to just listen to whoever it was talking without talking. I was really shocked by how much people appreciated me just listening, no response I was just a friendly ear. I guess I got used to the idea that if you said something I should respond with words. A lot of times people just want to be heard.
People pay for kindness.
I am always placed in situations where I’m just wondering, “God why am I here? What is the lesson?” During the shopping season I picked up an extra job and it was client based, the company I worked with prides itself on giving superb customer service…basically be nice as hell to the client. The company gave a survey for clients to take after their “experience” and they provide feedback. All of the surveys were the same, they loved the idea that the people treated them kindly. No matter what the initial issue was, if something went wrong, if something went missing they could handle it because the people helping them were nice. I noticed that the people were largely paying to experience kindness. In my regular life I try to be kind, I have to work on it, while I am not mean I keep it moving, and a lot of the times being kind means slowing down and acknowledging people.
Stop being a hater…towards yourself.
My number one hater is with me 24 hours a day seven days a week. This year I noticed that I was my biggest hater. I would come down so hard on myself, there is a difference between expecting a lot from yourself and beating yourself up. I had to really change the words I spoke to myself especially when I was working on a project or an event. In 2016 I will encourage myself a lot more and really watch what I say to myself.
You CAN DO IT!
This was a big lesson for me in 2015, realizing when I really put my mind to it I can absolutely do anything I want to do. At times the fear of the task would literally make me back away slowly from it, but my passion for the projects I worked on this year became bigger than my fear. Fear had to take a backseat because it had no room to grow and once I let fear take a backseat I was able to work without second guessing if I was going to fail. I am one of those people who some would call a realist especially as it pertains to business, I love a good fairy tail where everyone lives happily ever after BUT in business that does not always happen. My way of thinking while helpful I can overdo it, in 2016 I will ease up on myself just a tad.
It’s okay to cry and breakdown…just don’t stay down.
I don’t necessarily like getting emotional in front of people I don’t know. It’s not that I care what people think (because we all have emotions) its because when I’m done crying I want it to be done and over with. There is no need unless I ask for us to have a long drawn out conversation about my tears (for some reason everyone is Iyanla and Iyanla ain’t even Iyalna). But one day I was having thee worst day ever and the only emotion I had to give the day were my tears and it was in front of a person I didn’t really know. I started off good and then the tears just came out, I was too sad to just stop crying, the person didn’t say anything he just let me cry. When I was done I was handed a tissue and I waited for the “conversation” but none came all he said was, “its okay to cray and feel down just don’t allow yourself to stay down.” His words saved me years in therapy lol but on the real I learned I don’t always have to be “together” I can cry if I want and if I happen to have an audience then so be it.
Ask for help
I want to say this was the biggest lessons I learned, to ask for help. I don’t know why we just want the hard journey to be even harder. Because to me that’s what I am saying when I don’t ask for help. Now help comes in many forms (and I did say help not become an annoyance to someone). Help for me is always advice or tips, I used to try and figure everything out just on my own, all it left me with was a headache or spending more time on things that if I would have just asked for help it would have taken less. Now I ask for help after I have tried to find a solution and I really just don’t know I ask my peers or people who would know.
These are a few lessons I have learned this year and hopefully I will keep learning things that will help me become a better person. What are some of your lessons and reflections from 2015?
Sistah Girl Updates
Join our mailing list to receive the latest posts and updates from The Sistah Girl Next Door.